Solution for “Package ‘Microsoft SQL Management Studio Package’ failed to load”

I had an odd issue where SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) 2008 R2 would start up, display the following error message, then exit:

Package ‘Microsoft SQL Management Studio Package’ failed to load

Using SysInternals Process Monitor tool to monitor SSMS.exe it seemed that it was looking for the following registry key but not finding it:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools

By renaming a parent key (rather than delete it – just in case it didn’t fix the issue) solved the issue for me. The key I renamed was:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server

Running SSMS again recreated the \100\Tools sub keys and all was well again. I hope it works for you too.

28 Responses to Solution for “Package ‘Microsoft SQL Management Studio Package’ failed to load”

  1. Worked for me. Thanks!

  2. Cris says:

    Worked, thanks!

  3. W.Vitek says:


  4. mohd says:

    thank you…3x…

  5. Brett says:

    THANK YOU!!!!

  6. Tony says:


    Thanks but no cigar. The key was recreated and launching SSMS stated it was setting up for first time use but then displayed the same error again. I guess it is reinstalling .net as the next possible cause.
    Windows Server x64 with SQL Express.


    • Chris says:

      This is exactly what it did for me as well. :(

    • Hank says:

      Me to :(
      I just now tried to run the ‘repair’ on .NET but this did not work. I am going to try running the ‘repair’ on SQLExpress next.

      • Hank says:

        SQLExpress SSMS had been running great for two days after installation and then I started to get the ‘package’ error. I almost tried the SQL re-install repair when I noticed that SQL Service Pack 1 was waiting in the Windows update queue. I thought that all the updates had been applied already…
        After finishing the service pack update SSMS opens up just fine.

  7. Edmundo says:

    Tanks Duncan

  8. Paul says:

    It works! Thanks!

  9. dbrownell says:

    Excellent – it worked for me!

  10. DragonBehemont says:

    Thank you very much! Nice job!

  11. MN says:

    simply great!!! Worked.

  12. sgrauslund says:

    Thanks a lot for an easy solution!

  13. anu says:

    nop still i m getng same error.plz help me 4dis

  14. issam says:

    waooooooooooooooooow !

    excellent !

    god bless you

    @anu : rename the Microsoft SQL Server key

  15. d says:

    worked like a charm!

  16. Peter says:

    Legend!!! I have had issues on 2 machines now with VS 2010 and SSMS. I wish I had have found this before I started the laborious task of rebuilding the first machine…

  17. Ulrich says:

    Thanks a lot!!!

  18. Andreas says:

    It was not working on my site. I suppose, I got a problem with .NET via Windows Update. worked for me.

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  20. Mel says:

    Thanks, this worked for me.

  21. Pankaj Singh says:

    Can you please provide steps how you did it exactly.

    • Duncan Smart says:

      * Start > Run > regedit
      * navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server
      * right-click, Rename ‘Microsoft SQL Server’ folder/key

  22. devdick says:

    worked thx

  23. باسل says:

    Great! But don’t forget to restart your machine before running SQL again.

  24. Κώστας says:

    Thank you!
    The only solution that worked for me!!!


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